Japan’s Nikkei 225 hurtled more than +3.25% higher today in its first day of trading for 2018. The top Nikkei performers included Tokai Carbon and Showa Denko K.K., up +7.81% and +6.54%. The huge boost was helped by the tech-heavy US Nasdaq closing above the 7,000 threshold for the first time (all three main US indicies saw record highs overnight).
Energy stocks in Asia were also helped by more Iranian oil supply worry. But the wider US positivity was impossible for Japanese traders to ignore. Away from Japan, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 saw a new 10-year high, hitting 6,102 points.
Elsewhere there's concern from top tech companies on chip security. Severals flaws have the potential to make some systems open to hackers by tapping into a computer’s central memory. The problem is thought to be industry-wide. Cloud-based vulnerabilities also exist. The issue has hit Intel’s share price, down more than -3% yesterday.
Overnight sterling crept +0.06% higher to 1.3518 against the dollar while the euro rose +0.12% against the greenback to 1.2026. There remains growing positivity on the pound generally with more asset managers going ‘long’ on sterling, according to new comments from Morgan Stanley.
- UK FTSE 100 7,671.11 +0.30%
- DAX 12,978.21 +0.83%
- CAC 40 5,331.28 +0.81%
- Dow 24,922.68 +0.40%
- S&P 500 2,713.06 +0.64%
- Nasdaq 7,065.53 +0.84%
- Nikkei 225 23,506.33 +3.26%
- Gold 1,311.30 -0.55%
- Oil WTI 62.12 +0.80%
Debenhams issues profits warning on weak Xmas sales
In contrast to solid results from John Lewis (yesterday) and Next (Tuesday) it was the turn of Debenhams this morning – and the numbers don’t look so good. For the 17 weeks to 30 December Debenhams reports a -1.3% slip in crucial like-for-like sales. The first week of post-Christmas sales also disappointed – “below expectations”.
“The UK trading environment has continued to be volatile and highly competitive with weaker demand in some more discretionary areas,” Debenhams said. “The market has become more promotion-driven and we responded in order to remain competitive for our customers.” This means profits will likely be closer to £55-65m than £80m-plus as previously hoped.